Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday appeared to draw a parallel between his own recent statement on the Mumbai attack case and the contents of a new book jointly penned by former ISI chief Lt Gen Asad Durrani and former RAW chief A.S. Dulat, and called for the National Security Council (NSC) to re-convene on the matter as it had in his (Sharif's) case.
Durrani and Dulat's paperback — The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace — released on Wednesday, has served as an ice-breaker of sorts between the two warring neighbours while also spurring criticism of Indian state repression in held Kashmir.
However, Nawaz believes that the former DG ISI, through this book, has made public some "serious information" and that it is now necessary to call an emergency NSC meeting to discuss the matter.
It is pertinent to mention here that Nawaz, in an interview to Dawn early this month, had said: "should we allow them [non-state actors] to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?" — remarks that were perceived across the border as an open admission that the state of Pakistan was involved in the infamous 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Indian media's inflammatory reportage was soon picked up in Pakistan, leading to criticism and condemnation of Nawaz Sharif's stance.
To address the 'situation' arising from the media furore, an NSC meeting was called over the matter during which Nawaz's comments were deemed "incorrect and misleading".
Nawaz, who made these remarks while speaking to reporters outside an accountability court today, further suggested the formation of a national commission to ascertain and investigate events such as the toppling of the PML-N government in Balochistan, the election of the Senate chairman and horse trading in Senate elections.
The beleaguered PML-N leader said that people are witnessing how "certain plotters are controlling the media and encroaching upon its freedom".
"They are putting pressure on TV channels and interrupting the circulation of newspapers and also managing the transmission through cable operators," he said, referring to curbs placed on two major media organisations in the country.
Nawaz said such tactics are tantamount to denying freedom of expression and vowed that that the PML-N will form a powerful commission to address these core issues if it comes to power again.
What if a politician had done this?
In a similar vein, Senator Raza Rabbani, while addressing the upper house on Friday, remarked that if a politician had teamed up with an Indian counterpart to write a book like this, they would have been branded a traitor.
“It is shocking that on one hand Pakistan and India relations are at an all-time low and on the other hand, former spy chiefs of both the countries are teaming up to write a book,” the former Senate chairman was quoted as having said by Geo News.